MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A couple police said was caught shoplifting from a Myrtle Beach lingerie shop, was also charged with misdemeanor child cruelty Sunday night.
Myrtle Beach police said 24-year-old Amanda Savage and 26-year-old Gary Savage went into Priscilla McCall's lingerie store around 11 p.m. They were caught shoplifting, and police said they also found the couple's toddler in the car.
Since the couple left the toddler in the cold car, police charged both Gary and Amanda with child cruelty.
We hear about hot car dangers all the time in the summer, but it's not as common to see charges for it in the winter.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children are more susceptible to temperature extremes, including unseasonably cold weather. Children are less able to regulate their body temperature than adults, and can quickly develop low body temperature or hypothermia. Newborns are especially at risk.
Doctors said without knowing how long the child was in the car Sunday night, or what he or she was wearing, makes it impossible to know whether the child was in real danger. But cold weather, even in the Grand Strand, does pose a real threat.
"The fact that the child's in a car on a cool, or cold evening, there's a lot of things that are, need to be concerned about," explained Dr. Ronald Reynolds with Beach Urgent Care. "One is that a. with the child not being observed for a period of time, the child would obviously need to be dressed, layered."